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They problem with Middle East Studies or the study of "the other"

Reader comment on item: The Problem with Middle East Studies

Submitted by Celine (Canada), Jul 14, 2008 at 20:56

The problem you mention in your article "The Problem with Middle East Studies A Microscopic Investigation" by Daniel Pipes is
something I have been documenting for years when scholars, historians and journalists deal with First Nation people in the US or Canada.
The person builds his or her argument to prove their original statement or theory instead of looking at the facts and then concluding or putting forth a new theory or explanation.

Here is an example, in 1990 the Oka Crisis in Canada was seen and perceived as a First Nation uprising, where the Mohawks would overtake the region and take back their land. The perception was based on a cultural prejudice that was passed down generation after generation without anyone looking at the facts or questioning history.

Therefore, this misrepresentation and misinformation was viewed as facts and other interpretation of events was labeled as lies or
fiction. The truth was much simpler, the Mohawks were trying to save their cemetery, where the remains of their ancestors resided in their
final resting place. In their view of life you do not disturb the dead and their resting place. It was a lack of respect on the part of the Mayor or Oka, then the provincial police and the Canadian Army that led to the stand-off between Mohawks and Canada.

Canada declared war on the Native and not vice versa, or Canada had never made peace with the Mohawks there was only a lull in armed conflicts.

After looking a the facts, doing an internal trip to my childhood, and looking at how I was taught at home and in school and being in touch
with my own biases and prejudices I can say that as Canadians we need to look at history but first at who we are individually. Otherwise
all we write is an opinion and what we write is to prove our opinion or our own vision.

One of the things I always like about you is your honesty and the use of facts to tell a story, you do not add or delete facts you try to
tell it as it is, keep on writing you are needed in tis world. Hopefully, and this I wish for you, people will see you as a man of
peace, a woman comes to mind, Frau Wust, in Nazi Germany she fell in love with a young Jewish woman, she tried to save her life, however
her love was sent to a concentration camp and died. Her son who loved his mom's friend, converted to Judaism and moved to Israel. he
is quite well known in the community. His mom 50 some odd years after the Holocaust was honored for the work she did for the Jewish
community and was seen as a true hero of her time.

The lesson I learned was that do something out of love of the people and not out of hate. In talking with you I know you love the people on both sides, do go on writing.

Your friend Celine


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